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A current study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a doubling of the risk of colon cancer for people who are heavy consumers of red meat. More specifically, it shows that the risk doubles compared to those who consume smaller quantities of red meat. But how does this compare to people who consume no red meat at all?

This is conjecture, but I'm willing to bet that heavy consumers of red meat probably have quadruple the risk (or more) of colon cancer compared to vegetarians or people who consume no red meat. By the way, you don't have to be a vegetarian to boycott red meat. You can still be a consumer of other sources of animal protein (fish, seafood, etc.) while avoiding red meat.

There are plenty of health reasons to avoid eating red meat, and a higher risk of colon cancer is just one of them. The saturated animal fat found in red meat products contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. In addition, red meat can contain contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and undesirable environmental pollutants that tend to collect in the fat tissues of cows, which are absorbed into your body when you eat cow fat. And you can't eat red meat without getting some animal fat.

Then, of course, there's what I call the vibration of red meat, which concerns the homeopathy of the meat, or the environment in which the cow was raised. Was it a natural environment? Did the cow have access to open fields, sunlight and clean water? Or was this a cow raised as part of a slaughterhouse operation, produced for the sole purpose of generating profits? If you eat cows' meat that has undergone that kind of experience, you are consuming a product that is tainted with the negative experience of the animal from which it came.

There are a lot of negative effects associated with the consumption of red meat, and this is why more and more people are now giving up red meat and moving to healthier foods like fish, free-range chicken, or better yet, plant-based proteins like spirulina or soy products like soy milk and tofu. This is where you'll get your best protective effect and disease prevention, and you will be helping protect the environment at the same time. After all, it's far less stressful on the environment to produce food as plants than as animals.

It takes 10 acres to produce the same amount of red meat protein as it does to produce one acre of soy beans. And producing spirulina yields a tenfold increase over the production of soybeans. So think about it: one acre of farmland used to produce spirulina can produce 100 times as much protein as beef and red meat. That will be very important to realize as our world population grows and it becomes increasingly difficult to produce the protein required by the population.

These are all reasons to avoid an animal-based diet and pursue a plant-based diet. Many people reading this are already following a plant-based diet, but some of you who might be considering making the change probably aren't sure exactly how to do it.

Perhaps you want to merely reduce your consumption of red meat but not give it up completely yet, which is fine, since that's the way all of us ex-meat-eaters got into plant-based diets to begin with. Few people ate more meat than I did because I grew up in an environment where we had all the red meat we wanted at no charge (my grandfather was a cattle rancher). We had a freezer full of red meat at all times, and we could have as much hamburger, steak or other cuts of meat as we wanted. I consumed large quantities of red meat for nearly 30 years.

I found the transition away from red meat to be difficult at first. I started consuming less of it and eating other meat alternatives, and pretty soon I began to view red meat in a different way, because if you eat less of it, you eventually start to lose your appetite for it. And within less than a year, any time I would see red meat at the grocery store, it would gross me out. I look at it and I realize what it is: a chunk of flesh sliced off the carcass of a living creature that has been ground up and stuffed into a box. Usually there's some blood running around in the container as well. Every time I would look at that I would get grossed out and think to myself, "Gee, is this really what I want to eat for the rest of my life? This sliced up chunk of a dead cow?" And the answer was, "No." So it didn't take very long before I didn't want any red meat, and now I can't imagine eating it.

That's one way to get rid of red meat in your diet, but there are many other ways and I encourage you to experiment and see how you'd like to approach it. But the bottom line on red meat is that there is an increasing body of evidence supporting the notion that you can prevent cancer by pursuing a plant-based diet. If you want to be healthy, it's time to join the vegetarians. Maybe even join the vegans, if you have the courage.

Think about limiting or eliminating your consumption of red meat and instead nourish your body with the phytonutrients, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and even the living energy of plants. That's how you'll be the healthiest you can be.

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